November 25, 2017 / 8:28 AM / a year ago

China issues more 2017 oil import quotas to three independent refiners: sources

BEIJING (Reuters) - China has issued crude oil import quotas for 2017 of 1.5 million tonnes to three independent refiners, three sources familiar with the situation said on Saturday, a sign Beijing is easing its policy toward these companies sometimes known as teapots.

Shandong Qingyishan Petrochemical Technology Co was granted a quota of 800,000 tonnes, Zibo Xintai Petrochemical Co was given 500,000 tonnes and Shandong Yuhuang Shengshi Chemical Co a quota of 200,000 tonnes, the sources said, citing a Ministry of Commerce notice. They declined to be identified as they are not authorized to speak to the press.

The quotas must be used by the end of the year.

The Commerce Ministry and the companies did not respond to requests for comment.

The quotas are the latest sign that the government is relaxing its policies toward the independent refiners after cutting import quotas and banning them from exporting fuel earlier this year.

State media has reported that China’s increasingly influential independent refineries have sought changes to oil quota polices to help them plan procurement and production in advance.

Quotas for some of these independents were cut by nearly 17 percent in 2017 versus 2016 because they under-used the earlier permits.

Reporting by Chen Aizhu; Additional reporting by Shu Zhang in BEIJING; Writing by Josephine Mason; Editing by Christian Schmollinger

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